More than $200,000 worth of stolen property and 63 firearms have been seized by police after an Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) investigation in southern Alberta.
Search warrants executed on three locations in Taber on Sept. 10 resulted in the arrest of five people suspected of being involved in breaking and entering and vehicle thefts, ALERT said in a press release on Wednesday.
The crimes are believed to have been committed in communities across southern Alberta, including Taber, Vauxhall, Lethbridge, Stirling, Vulcan, Bow Island, Seven Persons, Coaldale and Barnwell.
The suspects face a total of 76 charges that include trafficking stolen property, trafficking firearms and fraud.
"ALERT was successful in disrupting a group of individuals who were impacting rural communities with thefts and property crime offences," said Supt. Dwayne Lakusta, ALERT's chief executive officer, in the release.
The accused are all from Taber:
- Greg Kosowan, 72.
- Dustyn McCracken, 20.
- Jason Pizzati, 46.
- Cornelius Wolf, 38.
- Heinrich Wolf, 35.
Firearms trafficking alleged by police
Police said they have spent weeks cataloguing the stolen property since the warrants were executed. The items include seven vehicles, licence plates and power tools.
Law enforcement also alleges the suspects were involved in firearms trafficking.
Along with the seizure of 63 firearms, police said they found approximately 60 disassembled firearms and parts, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
ALERT, which tackles serious and organized crime, teamed up its southeast Alberta property crime unit with the Taber Police Service, Taber RCMP and Medicine Hat Police Service for the investigation.
Anyone who suspects drug or gang activity in their community can call local police or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).